” If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”Proverbs 24:10
2020 came with a lot of promise and brought a lot of disappointment and unexpected adversity with it. It was a time that tested everyone’s faith. Those who kept their eyes on the Lord overcame the adversity and learned some lessons that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Some even finished their race on earth during this time and met their heavenly Father.
Though we faced something unexpected, the Sovereign Lord God knew what He was doing. Nothing in this universe happens without His knowledge or permission. Job 37:7 says, “God seals up (stops, brings to a standstill by severe weather) the hand of every man [and now under His seal their hands are forced to inactivity], that all men whom He has made may know His doings (His sovereign power and their subjection to it).”
At a time when most of mankind had turned to a godless lifestyle, many were looking at celebrities and individuals as ‘gods’ due to their fame, fortune, wealth or power, the Lord God decided to intervene and allow a ‘stop’ so we could ‘rethink’ things for ourselves. Rethink we all did, our priorities, our values and our future plans. National leaders had to rethink about their governance and change their plans to include providing food and supplies to the poor, needy and those in difficult situations, something they hadn’t done in decades.
What have we learned?
Being in lockdown gave us the opportunity to look at our lives and search for where we truly stand with God. Many of us had to trust God for provision as the dependable means of income fell apart and became undependable.
Most of us had to trust God every single day to be safe from the Covid virus. Some even had to pray for recovery from the virus. The fact that we are all alive and around to see another year is a definite blessing from God. He ordained that we should live another day, another month, another year. Many yearned and dreamed of it but couldn’t see the end of 2020.
Overcome the negative with positive
If you feel bitter about the losses you incurred in 2020 due to the pandemic, or if grief is causing you to think negative things towards God, pray for grace to overcome these negative thoughts. Let us focus on the good and positive things that we have received during this past year.
Philippians 4:6-8 says, “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Amplified Bible
Revere the LORD God
We owe our very life to the Lord God Who created us and gave us life giving breath. Job 34: 14-15 says, “If [God] should set His heart upon him [man] and withdraw His [life-giving] spirit and His breath [from man] to Himself, All flesh would perish together, and man would turn again to dust.”
In Noah’s time God repented that He had created man and caused the flood to destroy all living beings. Thanks to prophecies for the future written in the Bible we can be sure that it is not God’s will for humanity to perish through the Covid virus. However, we would do well to take the end time prophecies seriously and prepare our hearts for the times that lie ahead.
Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 advises us, “All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Our Perspective for the Coming Season
God wants us to keep our focus on Him. In Hosea 6:6, God says, “For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.”
David, the man after God’s own heart, knew the importance of keeping God first. In Psalm 119:11 he says, “Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” And in Psalm 119:15 he says, “I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law].” In verse 37, he says, “Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity (idols and idolatry); and restore me to vigorous life and health in Your ways.”
Habakkuk says in 3:19, “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” Amplified Bible
Hold on to the Giver of Life
With God on our side, we are invincible. Without God, we will perish. As we enter into the New Year 2021, let us hold on to the Lord even more closely. Let us understand that our greatest blessing is to have the Giver of Life on our side. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour and Redeemer, we are promised that the Lord God will always be with us.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]“
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 exhorts us to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
May you have a greater intimacy and a deeper walk with the Lord during the New Year 2021! May you and your loved ones receive the priceless blessings of the Lord’s unending love, peace and joy.